Where to begin?

This is the first time I’ve had to sit down and try to bring words to the amazing life experiences we’ve had in the last weeks. For one thing Charley, Laelia and I flew to beautiful Ukraine. We lived in Kiev. Here are some of the many pictures out of my camera.

Kiev does not have wheelchair access whatsoever so we had to carry Laelia a lot. That was hard. For example the grocery store was two buildings to the right of our apartment. Easy distance, right? Wrong. To get there we had to carry Laelia down five flights of stairs, down another to the alley, then since there was no access down the sidewalk you have to go through an underground mall which requires a long set of stairs down then another long flight up to surface, then a flight of stairs up to the front of the above ground mall that holds the grocery store… which is at the bottom… with more stairs. I do believe it is impossible to live in a wheelchair in Kiev.

Despite the hardships of being in an unfamiliar place with water you can’t brush your teeth in, I will miss this country. It is beautiful. We drove an hour outside the city to visit the orphanage (more on that later) and I swear if I knew the language and was more comfortable yelling about nothing (I mean *cough* if I knew the culture better) then we would live here. This is Boyarka.

Even in Kiev there were places you could walk to that were just as beautiful. This is Kiev.

Laelia loved inner city Kiev. She loved Ukraine. She loved the crazy driving with no  discernible  traffic laws. She loved our apartment and didn’t seem to mind the cigarette smoke that was a constant nose  assailant. She loved washing laundry by hand since the washer confused mommy. She loved line drying clothes with mommy. She loved the squeaky noises our floors would make. She loved the noises and lights that went on all through the night in the heart of the city. Despite myself I have raised a city girl.

Laelia also learned to walk without crutches in Kiev. It helped that our apartment was small and she could easily walk from one “island” (the chair, the table, the bookshelf) to the next. Eventually she mastered the small rise in the floor that separated the bedroom from the kitchen. She fell several times, but refused her crutches. After two weeks of this she gained confidence. Then she was becoming more mobile all over the place, even walking longer distances in her crutches or pushing her own stroller.

We went to a museum to learn everything about Ukraine. We were determined to learn all we could and soak it up. Our trip to the museum left our daughter bored and singing loudly. No one seemed to mind… no one except her mother. :-/  Here she is hanging on her daddy while singing. Eugene ignored her and kept telling us all about what we were looking at.

I will post about our adoption–about the process, about our new little one, about sweet life at home–another time. My two monkeys only give me a few minutes of free time each day and I’ve spent it pining over our Ukraine pictures and trying to put our trip into words. It was an emotional time for sure, and I think a bit more enjoyed in hindsight, but missed nonetheless. These are a few of my favorite things.

You, Sir  Borscht, are dearly missed.

Communist bill boards everywhere. This one shows someone handcuffed holding American currency. I’m pretty sure that means the commies love us.

This is not an aquarium. It’s the grocery store.

The soaps!

Bacon flavored chips.

How we could tell how many days we’d been there. We caught about 10 flies a day. This country does not have screen doors!

Green donuts in one of the many underground shopping areas.

Honey markets with bees EVERYWHERE.

Getting excited to run into English signs.

Random downpours that would happen out of nowhere, flood the streets and then dry up immediately so you couldn’t tell it had even rained.

Everyone out bent over their corner of street with these brooms.

Sunflowers everywhere. Seriously this land is covered in them.

I was told I would miss Ukraine, and I really didn’t believe it. But I do. I was able to enjoy it for only about 1/4th of our time there due to all the adoption scrambling and worrying. Getting Roland out of the orphanage was an adventure we’ll never forget. That will have to be another blog post.

2 Responses to “Where to begin?”

  1. Carolyn says:

    If you miss those sudden rainstorms, head to Arizona in the summer ;) Monsoon season can be scary sometimes, but it never failed to just BLOW MY MIND! ;)

  2. martha says:

    Oh my yes. Your posts have made me miss it even more (while in the midst of it I would have told you you were crazy). RR mama as well 3 years home and STILL miss it! Your baby is beautiful! Congrats

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